How to Screen a New Tenant

12 September 2021

Once you find a tenant, you should make sure to check them carefully to make sure they are going to be a good tenant and that they have the right to rent a property in the UK.

You can use various methods such as credit checks, employer and landlord references, right to rent checks and, for maximum security, require a guarantor.

Tenant Credit Checks

A tenant credit check allows you to quickly check:

  • Is the person who they say they are?
  • Do they have any aliases?
  • Do they have any financial associates?
  • How good is their credit history?
  • Where were their previous addresses?
  • Have they got any adverse information such as CCJs or bankrupties?

You can use the report to make a quick decision or obtain further information and/or guarantors if required.

You can find out more infomation about Mudhut Tenant Credit Checks here:

https://www.mudhut.com/patron/tenant-credit-check

References

You can ask the tenant to provide details of people that can provide them with a reference:

  • Employer
  • Previous landlords
  • Professional colleagues

An employer reference should include verification of their employment and salary.

A landlord reference should include details of the property that was rented, the tenant's payment history and general conduct durting the tenancy.

Right to Rent

You must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England.

  1. Check which adults will use your property as their main home.
  2. Ask for original documents that prove the tenant can live in the UK, for example a biometric residence permit or a birth certificate with a council tax bill.
  3. Check that the tenant’s documents give them the right to rent your property.
  4. Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant, with the tenant present.
  5. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

See more information on the Government website here:

https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents

Guarantors

You can ask for the rent to be guaranteed by a  guarantor. A guarantor is a third party, such as a parent or close relative, who agrees to pay the rent if the tenant doesn't pay it.

The landlord can ultimately take legal action to recover any unpaid rent from the guarantor.

You should perform a credit check on the guarantor to make sure they have good credit.

You should also have an agreement between yourself and the guarantor called a Guarantor Agreement. You can get a free agreement here:

https://www.mudhut.com/patron/guarantor-agreement

Categories: Residential Lettings Best Practice